While getting ready at home this morning I was reminded of various times in my life that advice was given to me. It’s funny that the one that sticks out in my mind the most is one of my childhood. First of all, for me to remember something like this from a long time ago is something just short of a miracle. I normally don’t recollect too much of growing up. I think the memories are there, in my mind, just hidden by a bunch of cobwebs. But this one, this one is different.
My family lived in Florida at the time, I think it was 1989. It was gym class and that day we were being timed on the mile for one of those fitness tests. At the time I remember thinking, “Oh my god, a mile?? Are you serious?? This is torture; it has to be against the law!! AND we have to run it again if we don’t get under a certain time?? WHAT??!!” But one of my friends gave me some advice, some advice that I wish I had never taken. She told me, “Don’t worry about it, it’s easy, all you have to do is run the straights, and walk the curves.” At the time I thought the plan was so brilliant, it sounded so great, so that’s what I did, ran the straights and walked the curves.
I finished the timed mile (under the cap, as I didn’t have to run it again) and was barely breathing heavy. I felt as though I didn’t work hard and that I took the easy way out. I felt as though I cheated myself. I don’t remember the exact time I finished in, but I am sure it was nothing to be proud of. To this day, I still regret running that mile the way I did. The advice that I chose to take was the worst advice ever.
So as I prepare for my ½-marathon (far from that measly mile in grade school!), I am trying to sort through all the advice that has been given to me. There has been plenty! But there’s a time when you just have to put all the advice to the side and just go with your heart. And that’s how I plan to run my race on Saturday.